2018 Newsletter: 18/68 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Committee News:

Dear Members

At the Committee meeting held on 27 March 2018 the Committee resolved to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on 24 April 2018 at 6:30pm with one important item of business:

To propose for Life Membership of Sydney PC and Technology User Group Mr Robert Israel in recognition of long service to the Group and in particular for organising and presiding at Main Meetings for many years.

This resolution is a Special Resolution and requires a vote in favour of 75% of those present.

The Citation will be read by the President.

Any member who wishes to add an item to the Agenda should advise the Secretary by email at least 21 days prior to the date of the Extraordinary General Meeting.

Josephine Wiseman
Secretary SPCTUG

See attached files: “agm 2018 minutes 27 feb.docx” and “agenda for egm 24 april 2018.docx”.


Meetings This Week:

Programming - Tuesday Apr 10th - 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Come and show your projects, and see some others. We have a computer with a projector, so bring along picture files of your project and we'll project them on the wall. We have a broadband internet connection, so discussion can be wide ranging.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday April 10 at 6pm. We'll see some new microprocessor applications and programming examples.

Neville Hoffman

Friday Forum - Friday Apr 13th - 9:30 am - 12 noon

The usual Q&A and other discussions including the upcoming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update [ Autumn in Australia ].

The main update feature appears to be a "Timeline" for the desktop. See some more information in this Techrepublic article.

Communications - Friday Apr 13th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The usual Q&A and other discussions.

Meetings Next Week:

Tuesday Group - Tuesday Apr 17th - 9:30 am - 12 noon
Web Design - Saturday Apr 21st - 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

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Tech Tips:

Chrome Browser PC Scans Come As Surprise:

Published in Infopackets by John Lister on April 5, 2018 at 01:04PM EDT

Google Chrome users have been surprised to discover that the Chrome browser scans their computers in search of malware. It doesn't appear to be a reason to panic, but arguably Google could have been more up front about it.

The scans were spotted by Kelly Shortidge who works at a cyber security company. She noticed that the chrome.exe executable file (which is visible in Windows Task Manager) was scanning files in her Windows documents folder. On further investigation, she discovered Chrome has been doing this since around October, 2017.

The scans are being done through Chrome Cleanup, a tool that is separate from Chrome and is accessible as a separate download from Google. It's specifically designed to find malicious software that affects the browser's operation - for example, those programs which add toolbars or popup ads, or by changing the default homepage without permission. However, in this case it appears the scans are running through Chrome itself without users actively starting the scan.

Google Says Don't Worry

Google's Justin Schuh posted on Twitter to explain that what's happening here isn't the same as a normal full-blown security software scan. He says that the scan runs once a week in the background, taking up to 15 minutes.

He also noted that the scan only searches "browser hijacking points" - in other words, files and locations that could be used to alter Chrome and its settings - rather than looking everywhere for malware that could be hiding. However, he did note this setup "may cause it to follow links elsewhere." (Source: trustedreviews.com)

Should Users Be Warned?

The tool doesn't automatically remove malicious software; instead, it alerts the user and asks to delete specific files. Google said in October that it has tweaked these alerts to be clearer about exactly what will be deleted. (Source: blog.google)

Assuming the background scans work exactly as Google explains - and there's no reason to doubt this - they shouldn't pose a privacy risk to users or affect performance negatively. Instead, the real problem is that Google didn't make it clearer to users that the scans were happening. There's certainly an argument given recent scandals over computers and privacy that Google should have actively warned all users what was happening and why.

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

Information for Members and Visitors:

Link to — Sydney PC & Technology User Group
All Meetings, unless specifically stated above, are held on the
1st Floor, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.
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